We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, May 20. 2013
Got home too late last nite to accumulate the usual stack or to peruse all the links sent to my inbox. Mechanical flight delays. Isn't air travel fun? Try amusing yourself sometime for 8 hours in the Columbus airport while remaining sober in a cigar-free zone with nothing but fat women to look at and no laptop. Like jail. Got frisked, too. The rest of my family drove home quicker than I flew home to Yankeeland.
I have always hated swimming pools, but here's another reason.
Not too bad really.
Fluoride Fight Cracks Portland's Left
It's not from The Onion
EU bureaucrats clearly have too little to do and too much time on their hands
The challenge for bureaucrats everywhere is to justify their existence and their jobs and their pensions by creating rules for others.
IRS To Pro-Life Groups: You Know You’re Gonna Have To Give Up This Whole Protest Thing, Right?
Obama admits he’s a socialist - What his ‘Bulworth’ fantasy reveals
IRS scandal a reminder of how I learned about The Chicago Way
What the Obama Scandals Reveal About Progressive Ideology
Fund: Three Signs There’s a Cover-Up - “Mistakes were made….I don’t recall” and other surefire clues.
Art Laffer: Obama scandals are phenomenal for stocks
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Volcanic ash "polluting the midwest and disrupting the food supply." Short term, and once they doubled up their aircleaners on the tractors and plow it in, better crops from the new nutrients. At least that seemed to be the result from Mount St Helens.
Shocker -- municipal swimming pools have more bacterial in their filters than private swim clubs...
Note that they did not find "waste" as indicated. They found bacteria by using genetic tests for such bacteria. As indicated in the linked-linked article, "the researchers only analyzed the samples for genetic signatures of different pathogens, they couldn’t determine whether the bugs were alive".
I think I have a pretty good handle on whether or not the bacteria were alive.
This is exactly why swimming pools are so heavily chlorinated, and water is tested to be within a narrow pH range where the chlorine will be most effective.
Swimming in a pool of dead fecal bacteria is not my idea of fun.
Oceans, lakes, rivers...also full of fecal matter and dead things. Basically, nowhere is 'clean' to swim. I'd rather take my chances with a pool that attempts to be clean than a natural body of water.
Art Laffer: Obama scandals are phenomenal for stocks
That's hilarious. Stocks were up during the Clinton Administration, down during the Bush Administration (which left office with the economy in collapse), and up during the Obama Administration.
You should read the article. The Obama scandals are phenomenal for stocks because they give hope and change. Hope of a Republican blowout in 2014 and a change from corrupt Democratic "governance" of the bureaucracy in 2016.
Stocks work on hopes for the future. And with the scandals, things are looking up for a little adult supervision in DC.
It's been a good run for the Democrats but as we see their best and brightest can't manage the federal government, can't stamp out "low-level" employee official corruption, can't effectively protect our representatives overseas and, oh yeah, can't get people back to work. So change is good.
Could you be more wrong in your interpretation of events.
Stocks and the economy were indeed up during the Clinton administration but not from anything he did. Stocks and the economy fell off the cliff at the end of Clinton's administration but again (as much as I would like to say differently) not from anything he did.
The economy did come back under Bush and some of that was from things he did but mostly because he didn't do anything really bad. The economy collapsed at the end of his administration but you can thank Dodd, Frank, Clinton and the Democrats for that. In the late 90's and in the early part of this century the Democrats sabotaged the housing industry by forcing banks and government lenders to make bad loans. That is why we had a crash in 2008 and not because the president happened to be a Republican.
Stock market is up under Obama's second term but not as an indicator of economic health. It is because: 1. Interest rates are so low investors are frantically searching for profit and right now that means the stock market. 2. The EU, and most of Asia is in an economic crash and money from these countries is seeking a safe haven and again the stock market is pretty much all that is available. But this recession/depression we are in deepens every day and Obama is either clueless how to fix it or is intentionally driving us into an economic crash. If he had done NOTHING we would have pulled out of this before 2010. But everything he has done, every keynesian mistake has driven us deeper into a economic spiral into another great depression. We are screwed! We have already passed an event horizon in this spiral to the bottom and a total collapse is all but inevitable now. The only thing propping it up (and ironically making it worse) is massive borrowing and printing of money. But like the last great Keynesian depression this one will get worse and destroy lives and businesses.
Zach your comment is so naive, so uninformed, it reminds me of that story about the man who jumped from the top of the Empire State Building. He was heard to say as he passed the 10th floor "well, so far so good".
GoneWithTheWind: Could you be more wrong in your interpretation of events.
Heh. Didn't interpret anything. Just pointed out the facts.
That's hilarious = an interpretation. Snarky as hell, but an interpretation nonetheless.
Amusing that the modern patricians of wall street do so well when the party of the plebians is in charge.
Stocks were up in the Clinton II term because of an economic bubble which eventually burst after having laid the foundation of the subsequent recession, which Bush fixed while dealing with the fallout from 9/11, as well as, on the longer term, the malaise in the housing market that eventually led to the economic collapse of 2008. Not that I'm interpreting anything here. Heh, I'm just sayin'....
Agent Cooper: Stocks were up in the Clinton II term because of an economic bubble which eventually burst after having laid the foundation of the subsequent recession
Real wealth was created during the Clinton Administration as the economy restructured for the information age. The early 2000s recession was the mildest in the post-WWII period.
Being trapped in an airport is not like jail. In jail, you have rights and a bed.
From the fluoride fight splits left link:
Many "No" activists say they oppose fluoridation because it represents lack of choice. "The government does not have the right to make a major medical decision for the public at large. That decision flies in the face of everything it means to be a Portlander," said Tacee Webb, who runs what she calls "an all-Gluten-Free Preschool."
"And, let's face it," she adds: "We challenge authority."
One wonders if she supports mandatory pre-school for all kids, perhaps even mandatory public schooling? I wonder if she supports school vouchers? Or health insurance choice, i.e., not Obamacare?
Flouride--Someone stands to make big bucks on this, The water supply is said to be amazingly pure. Flouride is available in almost all toothpaste. This often discussed at/by local blogger:
Yep, the makers of water filters to get the evil fluoride out to bottlers of naturally pure tap artisanal water to dentists who upselling cosmetic services instead of treating oral disease.
Wonder if the folks of Portland can be convinced that DHMO should be eliminated from the public water supply?
IRS scandal a reminder of how I learned about The Chicago Way
Because the Trib wants you to sign up for something before reading the article- with the screen being shaded over- I am including a copy of the article.
The Internal Revenue Service scandal now devouring the Obama administration — the outrageous use of the federal taxing authority to target tea party and other conservatives — certainly makes for meaty partisan politics.By John Kass
But this scandal is about more than partisanship. It's bigger than whether the Republicans win or the Democrats lose.
It's even bigger than President Barack Obama. Yes, bigger than Obama.
It is opening American eyes to the fundamental relationship between free people and those who govern them. This one is about the Republic and whether we can keep it.
And it started me thinking of years ago, of my father and my uncle in Chicago and how government muscle really works.
Because if you want to understand The Chicago Way of things in Washington these days, with the guys from Chicago in charge of the White House and the federal leviathan, there's one place you start:
You start in Chicago.
My father and uncle ran a small business, a supermarket on the South Side. Uncle George worked in the front, my father in the butcher shop in the back. My uncle had been a teacher. My father had plowed his fields with a mule.
They were immigrants who came here from Greece with nothing in their pockets but a determination to work, and the belief that here, in America, no other power could roll in with tanks and put their boots on the necks of their children.
My father and uncle, like the rest of the family, valued education and books and free political debate. And so at large extended family Sundays, we'd all sit around the dinner table, many uncles and aunts and cousins, young and old.
There were conservatives and socialists, Roosevelt Democrats and Reagan Republicans and a few bewildered, equivocal moderates in between, everyone squabbling, laughing, telling stories.
No matter whose house we were visiting, the TV was never turned on after dinner. Instead, we'd have coffee and fruit and dessert and argument. We had different views, we loved each other, and even strangers who showed up were expected to join in, to debate education, the presidency, social issues, the war, drugs, bluejeans, long hair, baseball, everything.
Uncle Alex was the uncle who told us young people how best to make our points. He ran a snack shop in the Bridgeport neighborhood — the legendary home of Chicago mayors and Democratic machine bosses.
"Don't wait for a ticket," he'd say, and puff on his cigar, always in a white shirt and tie, on those family Sundays. So we'd just jump in when we could, like the rest.
One Sunday, I must have been 12 or 13, I decided to ask what I thought was an intelligent question that was something like this:
We talk politics every Sunday, we fight about this and that, so why aren't you politically active outside?
Why don't you get involved in politics?
There was an immediate silence. The older cousins looked away. The aunts and uncles stared at me in horror, as if I'd just announced I was selling heroin after school.
You could hear them breathing. No one spoke. I could feel myself blushing.
Someone quickly changed the subject to some safe old story. It could have been the one about how our grandfather named the family mule — a white, big-headed animal — after President Truman. My sin seemed forgotten.
But I couldn't forget it. I couldn't understand how we could argue about politics over baklava and watermelon and coffee, but not put it into practice.
We could support a political candidacy, we could donate or work for one or another politician that we agreed with.
This is America, I said.
"Are you in your good senses?" said my father. "We have lives here. We have businesses. If we get involved in politics, they will ruin us."
And no one, not the Roosevelt Democrats or the Reagan Republicans, disagreed. The socialists, the communists, the royalists, everyone nodded their heads.
This was Chicago. And for a business owner to get involved meant one thing: It would cost you money and somebody from government could destroy you.
The health inspectors would come, and the revenue department, the building inspectors, the fire inspectors, on and on. The city code books aren't thick because politicians like to write new laws and regulations. The codes are thick because when government swings them at a citizen, they hurt.
And who swings the codes and regulations at those who'd open their mouths? A government worker. That government worker owes his or her job to the political boss. And that boss has a boss.
The worker doesn't have to be told. The worker wants a promotion. If an irritant rises, it is erased. The hack gets a promotion. This is government.
So everybody kept their mouths shut, and Chicago was hailed by national political reporters as the city that works.
I didn't understand it all back then, but I understand it now. Once there were old bosses. Now there are new bosses. And shopkeepers still keep their mouths shut. Tavern owners still keep their mouths shut.
Even billionaires keep their mouths shut.
One hard-working billionaire whose children own the Chicago Cubs dared to open his mouth. Joe Ricketts considered funding a political group critical of Obama before last year's campaign. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former chief of staff, made it clear that if the Cubs wanted City Hall's approval to refurbish decrepit Wrigley Field, Ricketts better back off.
It happened. He backed off. It was sickening. But it was and is Chicago.
And now — with the IRS used as political muscle and the Obama administration keeping that secret until after the president was elected — America understands it too.
Wow! Almost didn't read that because it was so long. Great story and it does indeed explain the issue.
Geez, Kass is taking his life in his hands and becoming Royko-ish.
Emanuel, who can't afford schools or police, is investing taxpayers' bucks in a new stadium for a Catholic college plus lawdy-only-knows how much more for "tourism" attractions. Who wants to visit Chicago tourist sites when a body is likely to get bloodied by mobs of teens out to disrespect any adult walking within reach.
Try amusing yourself sometime for 8 hours in the Columbus airport while remaining sober in a cigar-free zone with nothing but fat women to look at and no laptop.
Suggestions for future reference:
1) E-reader or tablet
2) Smartphone with e-reader app and/or timewaster games installed
3) bookstore (every airport has several)
Heritage Bookstore is on the ticketing level in Columbus
Huh? I've never seen a major airport without a bookshop. Or at least a shop that sells books along with its other stuff. Even Manchester airport, which is far short of "major," has a couple of little hole-in-the-wall "news & gifts" stores with one rack of magazines and another of bestsellers for sale.
One can hope that the indie rock bands named after Communism conduct Stalin-Trotskey style purges of one another. I’ll break out the craft beer and popcorn, if they’ll get out the hammers, sickles, and ice picks.